EVENT: Sunday night dinner
VENUE: Cara’s apartment, Park Slope
PARTY SIZE: Just four of us
TYPE: Simple supper party
MENU: Skillet-roasted favas with tomato and feta; broccoli; carrot raisin cookie (dough) and chocolate chip cookies
The following is excerpted from an email exchange between two of my friends whom I’d invited to dinner the following night:
jordana: i’m excited for brooklyn dinner and carrot cookies!
sarah: let’s just eat the dough! just throwing that out there…
jordana: dough is so yummy! but i like cookies too – i say half and half!
If this sounds odd, here’s some history to contextualize: While Jordana (of Veggie Birthday fame) was my roommate, we grew obsessed with this chewy, cake-like carrot-raisin-walnut cookie from the Union Square Greenmarket. Much to our chagrin, we couldn’t find a recipe anywhere, so I got to experimenting and figured out a way to make these wholesome confections at home.
One night smack in the middle of the carrot-cookie obsession, Sarah was sitting on our couch with Jordana when I walked in, tired from a long day. As I took off my coat and sat down, they both sort of looked at me in a pleading way.
“Will you make us carrot cookies?” they finally said.
Always the sucker, I obliged—or at least I got as far as making the dough. Incredibly, by the time the oven had preheated, there was almost no batter left in the bowl. Jordana and Sarah had eaten nearly all of it.
Whether I’ll appease my guests by serving a portion of the dough raw has yet to be determined—I can assure you some will be baked, for sure, and I promise, they’re really good that way.
From my sweet, but not too sweet, kitchen to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Carrot Raisin Cookies
Makes 30 cookies
Although these are still sweets, as desserts go, they’re not so bad. They have far less sugar and fat than traditional cookies (the carrot supplies some of the moisture) and are made with both whole wheat flour and rolled oats, which counts for something. You could try using spices like cinnamon, dried ginger, or nutmeg to make them taste more like carrot cake.
1 ¼ cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup oil
1/4 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
¾ cup finely grated carrots
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Mix together the oil with the sugar, honey or syrup, and carrots until the sugar is dissolved.
Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Add the raisins and nuts and mix until they’re distributed throughout.
Drop tablespoons of the dough on to a cookie sheet. Flatten each ball slightly. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies have darkened a bit (it’s hard to see—they really don’t look that different baked than raw…). Remove to a plate to cool.